Africa

Desmond Tutu's home burgled on Mandela memorial day

Archbishop at the memorial service of Nelson Mandela (10 December 2012)
Image caption Archbishop Desmond Tutu is seen as the moral voice of South Africa

Burglars broke into the home of South African Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu while he was away for the memorial service of Nelson Mandela, officials say.

It was not yet clear what had been stolen from the house in Cape Town on Wednesday night, his aide Roger Friedman told the AFP news agency.

Archbishop Tutu had been in Johannesburg for the service.

There was also a break-in at the Tutu home in August.

South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

"I can confirm that there was a burglary last [Wednesday] night," Mr Friedman is quoted as saying.

"The house was not pillaged," he added.

Police said the burglary took place between 19:00 and 21:00 local time, the Associated Press news agency reports.

It is the second time that his home has been burgled. In August, a gang broke in when he and his wife were asleep and took a number of items.

Archbishop Tutu, 82, gave the closing prayer at the memorial, attended by tens of thousands of South Africans and world leaders.

"God, I ask you to bless our country," he said.

"You gave us a wonderful gift in this icon of reconciliation," he added, referring to Mr Mandela.

Archbishop Tutu won the Nobel Peace prize in 1984 for his role in campaigning for Mr Mandela's release from prison and an end to white minority rule in South Africa.

Mr Mandela was freed in 1990 and was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1993 along with South Africa's last white ruler, FW de Klerk.

Mr Mandela's body is lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was sworn in as South Africa's first democratic president in 1994.

His funeral is due to take place on Sunday in his rural home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province following his death on Thursday at the age of 95.

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